Voices from Russia

Sunday, 21 January 2018

21 January 2018. F M Dostoyevsky on that Most-Russian Thing… the Samovar

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“Tea isn’t vodka, you can drink all that you want”… that’s the old folk wisdom anyway. The Russians, not the English, are the tea-drinking champions of Europe. Russians always seem to have a “brew up” and never seem to be without a teacup at hand. Most Russians prefer their tea sweet and without milk, and I’m no exception to that. We like our tea hot, strong, and sweet… just as we like our men to be!

BMD

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Sunday, 14 January 2018

14 January 2018. Only in Russia… It’s Old New Year!

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Today is Old New Year in Russia! Yes… that’s an unofficial Russian holiday. You see, 14 January is 1 January on the Julian Calendar that the Orthodox Church uses. Therefore, many people (including many non-religious sorts) hold a second New Year celebration on that day. A leftist friend of mine emailed me:

People are abandoning the Fast less and less at New Years. There are Communist New Year’s Parties where (out of respect for Believers) a table groans under the weight of delicious Lenten delicacies… lobster, shrimp, oysters, herring, caviar, savoury Persian and Caucasian vegan treats, Lenten pirozhki, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and so much more. Plus, there’s an open bar of the best champagne, vodka, and Cuban & Haitian rum. Of course, they have a table full of meat and dairy items for secular people. However, those Comrades who observe the Nativity Fast can keep both the letter of the Church’s law and, with moderation, its spirit.

That’s why many keep the Old New Year… it allows them to have the meat n’ dairy delicacies that they abstained from on 1 January (many Orthodox Christians abstain until 7 January, the Julian date for the Nativity). Then, there are the party animals, for whom any excuse will do for a shindig.

To the Old New Year! Lift a glass and cheer!

BMD

Monday, 8 January 2018

8 January 2018. Only in Russia… Shashlik for Christmas… on the OUTDOOR Grill

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This is a real-deal Russian preparing grilled shashlik for CHRISTMAS. I shit you not. I do believe that the eaters are waiting inside… it’s true that shashlik over charcoal is legit to the max, but sometimes we Russians justify the Western view that we’re Europe’s crazy cousins. Not that I’d want to change that…

BMD

Sunday, 17 December 2017

16 December 2017. ‘Tis the Season for “Christmas Cards”… Here’s Mine

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The original painting is by Yelena Stepura, a Moscow-based painter. All of y’all can download and use this, with no charges or fees… Russians aren’t Anglo Americans… we’re not greedy nor are we self-centred attention hounds.

Have a most wonderful and joyous holiday… whichever one you celebrate. Raise a glass and cheer!

BMD

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